During the busy lead up to Christmas, both employers and employees should give some extra thought to safety.

PCBUs need to be aware of the safety and risk issues that arise at this time of year. Alcohol at festive season celebrations, increased workload and pressure leading up to Christmas, changes in shifts and short-handed rosters all present risks to safety that need to be managed. Alcohol-fuelled behaviour also presents a reputational risk to the organisation.

PCBUs should be proactive in addressing these issues:

  • Plan work functions carefully, setting boundaries and explaining behavioural expectations to workers. Be aware of fatigue and concentration issues the day after.
  • Keep an eye on workloads and longer hours, and make sure safety is not compromised in the rush to get to the end of the year. Fatigue management is especially important, and managers should monitor stress levels and be ready with conflict management.
  • Ensure good safety induction of temporary / contract workers is carried out.
  • Remind workers regularly about the importance of safety so they don’t lose sight of this responsibility during the busy period.

Workers should also be mindful of their safety over the holiday break. Many people undertake extra travelling at this time of year so driving safely becomes doubly important. Be mindful of your health by being moderate in the consumption of alcohol and rich foods. Rather than cramming too many projects into your break, be sure to spend some time relaxing and getting some physical exercise so that you can resume work in the new year with a sense of invigoration rather than exhaustion.

QRMC hopes all our readers enjoy fun and safe Christmas celebrations with their colleagues, family and friends.